ELIDA – Scoring runs after two outs is uplifting for the team that scores them and a downer for the team that allows them.
Parkway’s softball plated four of its six runs in the game with two outs and rode that big momentum lift to a 6-3 win over Lincolnview on Friday in a Division IV district final at Dorothy Edwards Field in Elida.
The Panthers advance to the Findlay regional and will meet the winner of the Sycamore Mohawk and New Riegel game at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Parkway (20-5) struck first in the top of the second inning when pitcher Sierra Fent walked, stole second and went to third on a throwing error. Terra Walls drove her home with a sacrifice fly to left field.
But Lincolnview (18-5) answered when shortstop Baylee Neate doubled and came around to tie the game on an error by the Panthers’ right fielder.
Parkway came right back and grabbed a 2-1 lead as that right-fielder, Olivia Smith, led off the third with a single. After retiring the next two batters, McClure gave up a solid double to Kylie Snyder that drove in Smith.
“It was a tough game,” Parkway coach Mark Esselstein said. “When you score you then want to shut them down but they kept answering.”
Once again Lincolnview responded, scoring two runs in the bottom of the third thanks to singles by Jodie Doner, Kaitlyn Brant and Devann Springer and another outfield error by the Panthers.
Fent, the junior right hander, took over at that point and shut down the Lancers as she retired 12 of the final 14 batters she faced. Fent, who improved to 14-3 on the year, allowed six hits while recording seven strikeouts in the game.
“I had to get comfortable,” Fent said of her early troubles. “Scoring runs made it easier as our bats came through for us. I was more confident as the game went on.”
Parkway added a run in the fourth, two more in the sixth, and a final run in the seventh to secure the hard-fought win.
“We knew they could the ball and they did so tip your hat to Parkway,” Lincolnview coach Kent McClure said. “We scored three runs but they made some nice defensive plays in the infield. We battled them to the end and I’m proud of our girls and the season that they had.”
Doner led Lincolnview at the plate, going 2-for-4 and Neate was 2-for-3 with two doubles.
Parkway, meanwhile, piled up 10 hits as Kayla Walls, Snyder, Terra Walls and Smith had two hits each.
“Neither team played perfect but we showed we are balanced and got production throughout the order,” Esselstein said. “We scored those two out runs and we need to have those kinds of at bats.”